The decision to exile José Rizal to Dapitan was taken so he could contemplate his sins against Spain and, “publicly retract his errors concerning religion, and make statements that were clearly pro-Spanish and against revolution”. He arrived in 1892 and left shortly before his execution in 1896. During his four-year exile Rizal was famously productive: he practised medicine and pursued scientific studies, continued his artistic and literary works, widened his knowledge of languages and established a school for boys. It was also in Dapitan that he first set eyes on Josephine Bracken, the smouldering Irish beauty whom he married in a private ceremony in his cell two hours before his execution. Tragically the son she bore Rizal was stillborn and is buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Dapitan. Bracken married again in Hong Kong, but died of tuberculosis at the age of 26.

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